An innovative ICT-based learning methodology and content for second-language oral expression

We can only learn to speak by speaking. The Tower of Babel is a well-known story that illustrates the challenges that multilingual communication can create. It also serves as the inspiration for the name Babelium. Babelium is the name given to a project that the European commission promotes within the Leonardo da Vinci frame of the Lifelong Learning Programme to deal with language learning challenges. As part of this project, we are going to implement an innovative ICT-based learning methodology and content for second-language oral expression training. Babelium will support the promotion of language learning in general but with special focus on languages used within the European Union.

Nowadays, foreign language speaking skills are a must for almost all of us. They can be essential when dealing with foreign clients and colleagues. Students doing an Erasmus or internship abroad also need these skills. In addition, speaking the language of a country can make visiting it much more rewarding and can sometimes be vital in circumstances where we are in need of help. We cannot do the learning for you but we want to make your learning easier and more efficient by developing a platform that can be used whenever you have time and access to the internet. We also want to provide teachers with an additional tool that will help to make teaching more interesting for both them and their students.

Babelium is for anyone who wants or needs to improve their language speaking skills. It can also be used by language teachers seeking an efficient tool to aid their students’ learning. Using a creative commons licence, we will make Babelium available to everyone, including:

  • Managers and employees who need to deal with foreign customers and immigrant workers
  • Students who need to prepare for an internship or Erasmus
  • Immigrants who want to integrate quickly into their new community
  • People of all ages who want to travel abroad and learn more about different cultures by communicating with the local people in their language
  • Teachers and trainers looking for an effective didactic tool for the development of speaking skills.

This programme is designed to be used by anyone who wants to practice the language they are learning. As we all know, we can only learn to speak by speaking!

This is a transfer of innovation project, which means that an innovative product — in this case, an already existing learning platform — will be further developed, adapted and transferred to the consortium partners (and to all other interested parties). The ICT based platform (open source and under a creative commons license) will provide interactive videos that will motivate learners to speak their target language. It will allow trainers and learners to produce their own videos using simple tools (a web cam and microphone). Users will be able to share their videos with a trainer, a native speaker and/or other learners for assessment and improvement of their speaking skills. Users will be able to choose the level in line with CEFR guidelines and can also avail of a platform that enables users to exchange their learning experiences.